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'Oz troops may stay in Afghanistan for another 30 years'

world Updated: Jun 10, 2010 12:57 IST

PTI
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The war in Afghanistan was not even half way through and the Australian troops could be in the country for the next 30 years, a former US defence official has said.

Ellsberg said how four successive US administrations lied to the public about the Vietnam War when he leaked the top-secret 'Pentagon Papers' to The New York Times in 1971.

"For Australian troops I think that three to five years is not just a conservative estimate, it's totally foolish," he was quoted as saying by ABC.

"The war will no more be over in three to five years than it is right now.

According to ABC report, former US strategic analyst Daniel Ellsberg on Thursday revealed that the war was not even half-way through.

If Australians are committed to supporting this strategy they can figure on 10, 20 and 30 years" he said.

Ellsberg said the recent deployment of 30,000 US troops is unlikely to be the last such deployment.

"President Barack Obama has claimed that he proposes to remove troops in 18 to 22 months, but I think the impression that the troops deployed there represent a glass ceiling is totally false, just like it was during the Vietnam War," he said.

However, Australian Defence Minister John Faulkner has said Australian troops we are likely to be in Afghanistan for the next three to five years as part of the US-led effort against a resurgent Taliban.